Rabb urges passage of body camera resolution following Fairhill corner store shooting

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., said it’s imperative the House pass legislation (H.R. 113) that would study and bring accountability to the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement, following the Tuesday release of surveillance footage of the shooting death of Alexander Spencer.

“The people of the commonwealth deserve accountability from law enforcement, and body-worn cameras are vital to the protection of both civilians and officers,” Rabb said. “Pennsylvania deserves to know how body cameras are being used by our law enforcement agencies across the state, which departments are utilizing body-worn cameras, and how we can continue to support the individuals that have sworn to protect and serve us.”

The resolution would direct the Joint State Government Commission to study how body-worn camera footage is currently used and stored in this Commonwealth and require the commission to prepare a report assessing the cost of filming, storing and reviewing complete body-worn camera footage, provide recommendations on how to ensure that footage is used for the justice of all and shielded from cyber threats, and establish an advisory committee comprising individuals who have expertise and experience fields, positions and situations relating to criminal justice, cyber security, ethics and law enforcement.

House Resolution 113 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 10, 2023, and awaits a House vote. Rabb is a fourth-term state legislator, serving on the House Judiciary Committee where he’s been a member since 2019. In 2020, another police transparency measure of his was enacted into law, establishing a state inter-departmental law enforcement misconduct database (SILEM) codified as Act 57 of 2020. Last fall, Rabb’s bill (H.B. 1531) was reported out of committee to strengthen transparency measures in police hiring overseen by the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission.